Twenty years ago, automotive engineers recognized the attractive combination of properties and low cost of polypropylene. Its color versatility makes it the material of choice for interior trim applications. Its high melting point has made it the work horse in engine compartment applications. Reinforcements and mineral fillers can be added to improve the stiffness and strength properties at elevated temperatures. Copolymers and alloys can be used to improve low temperature toughness.
This paper will briefly review polypropylene in automotive applications in the past, but it will concentrate on current and future trends that will substantially increase the importance of polypropylene to the automotive industry.